The Circular Diagram
Imagine a circle that has three points on it. We’ll nickname it the anacyclosis circle.
One point on the northernmost part and the other 2 points spaced in a triangular line from this principal point.
Note that the circle progresses in the clockwise fashion. The northernmost point is collapse. The second point is decentralization. The third point represents centralization.
Actually, you don’t need to imagine it. Luckily, I have Photoshop. You can just look at it here [updated as of 2021]:
This is the cycle of collapse. A visual form of it.
Understanding the Anacyclosis Circle
What this visual diagram represents is the degradation of a specific regime on the anacyclosis cycle: the democratic form. IE: It shows how the republic of government falls.
Polybius, an ancient historian, detailed how government collapses. His theory is called anacyclosis. It is the full cycle of political governance.
Starting with monarchy, he noted that the monarchs usually become tyrants. After tyrants, we have aristocracies. Aristocracies fall to oligarchies. They revive oligarchies with democracies, and democracies fall to ochlocracy. Over time, the monarchy returns out of the dust of the ochlocracy.
Then, the cycle repeats.
Individuals like Polybius, Aristotle, and Plato all noted these trends (in different manners).
Luckily, we have their works and also something they didn’t have. Which is the unprecedented ability in the modern era to look back on their time and everything else that has occurred since then.
What’s happened since their time is not far off from their theory that they called anacyclosis or what I’ve coined as “the cycle of collapse“.
The above circular diagram helps explain this political governance transition in a more modern light for our republics.
The cycle of collapse itself helps explain how each individual regime eventually degrades. How democracy falls to mob rule, how monarchy falls to tyranny, et cetera.
It does this by analyzing historical trends of these types of governmental systems. The benevolent forms of anacyclosis regimes typically showcase freer markets, benevolent leaders, decentralization in government, decentralization in culture, decentralization in economic power, stronger watchmen, and a larger focus on national unity.
In our diagram, the decentralization point stands for an open society. The government does not control the means of production. More freedom for the individual. Less elitist control. No stranglehold on culture or financial power in the nation. Majority decentralized.
Whereas the centralization point stands for complete intervention by elitists. The type of elitist is irrelevant. Historically, the people focused only on the threat by the government. In the modern era, we now know that the threat from cultural elites, financial elites, and the mob present just as much of a threat as a government centralization agent. For example, if the government owns the means of production fully it would be centralized. Or if the cultural elite control every form of cultural institution in the nation it would also be centralized. They all perform the same cycle of collapse function leading the republic to fall.
It is unlikely for any government to reside 100% on either of the points. Usually, each government exhibits a mix. Freer, more open nations lean toward decentralization. Less free or degenerative lean toward centralization.
But what is constant is that it is constantly moving in a clockwise fashion. Strong countries progress slowly on this cycle. But they are still moving toward centralization and collapse, nonetheless.
Over time, the benevolent forms of government degrade.
Democracy has a similar fate. We witness free market and free peoples [decentralized]. Slowly, we lose this system. One of three things occur: the government overreaches for power, the elitists seize control of various societal means of survival, or the mob ushers in centralized fear.
Consider if mob rule takes over [centralized]. Until a tyrant arrives and eliminates the mob [tyranny, collapse], ushering in a rule by one situation yet again.
Now consider elitists seize cultural power. They overtake the media, information systems, and major corporations. They effectively eliminate the free nature of the republic system, ushering in a degenerative form of aristocracy [rule by few – elites]. This system is not sustainable, and will collapse into either rule by one if a mob leads the charge or a rule by many if the people attempt to re-seize the republic.
The final government centralization example is fairly obvious. The government seizes control of the means of production, ushering in a socialist state.
Then, it repeats.
Any instance between regimes is categorized by this cycle and ends in tyranny: whether this is a violent overthrowing of a government, a collapsing of the financial system, a forced cultural revolution, or an outbreak of mob violence / anarchy.
All of this presents the same tyrannical problems: violence, destruction, and a massive changing hands of power.
Using this system we can pinpoint where each government is in comparison to one another of similar regimes. We can relate Western nations that are all democratic. We could compare similar communist nations to one another. We can use it to see the future of our own nation.
The cycle of collapse helps us understand how each individual regime falls. Anacyclosis helps us understand the cycle of regime change itself. Both are useful tools in figuring out where we stand and where our future lies.
It will also help us find a solution to stop this cycle from occurring.
Our Fate on the Anacyclosis Circle
Every nation slowly (or rapidly) moves in a clockwise fashion on this circle.
What does this mean? Well it means that each government is working its way back to tyranny. Toward collapse.
We fall from grace, we become virtuous, and then we repeat the failures that every other ancient civilization has made and will continue to make.
It’s all part of anacyclosis. It’s all part of the cycle of collapse.
Every nation, empire, or civilization has witnessed it. The government slowly declines from free to less free to tyrannical.
It’s the cycle:
The United States is moving closer and closer to socialism every day. Whether that socialism is through mob rule or elitist centralization, I can’t tell you. But what I can tell you is that we can’t go back, only forward.
I’ve written a few different articles about the trend and ways to delay it. I’m also researching ways to stop it permanently. You can read them here:
- The Cycle of Collapse
- What is Anacyclosis and Kyklos? A Journey From Ancient Greece to Modern Day US
- Justification For The Diversion: Why We Need A New Government
Along with an answer on how to fix (or at least delay) the degradation:
You may lose a bit of hope thinking that we can’t stop the cycle. But realize that even if socialists win, their victory won’t last forever. Collapse comes next. And how long that lasts is solely up to the citizenry.
Then, we’ll be back to some form of the next anacyclosis regime.
Well, at least until that one degrades… yet again.
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